|Pawnee Station Cowboy Action Shooting
History of Pawnee Station
By Tony Palmeri Alias Sam E. Wadcutter S.A.S.S. # 2880
I started shooting Cowboy Action Shooting in California back in the late 1980's. and joined SASS shortly after. There was only one club in southern Calif. at that time and it had a waiting list to get in. It was some time in 1990 when my name came up to the top of the list, but by this time my wife and I had decided to move to Colorado in search of a better life for our family. We moved to Fort Collins on April 9th 1991 after spending 36 years in California. It didn't take long to adapt to this beautiful state but there was one thing missing, Cowboy Action Shooting. By the end of 1992 I decided that the only way I was going to do any cowboy shooting was to start a club in Fort Collins.
In February of 1993 I attended Winter Range in Arizona and put together a videotape of that shoot in hopes that I could show it to somebody in Colorado and interest them as well. As it turned out while I was interviewing some of the shooters there, I ran into a lady that went by the alias of Miss Debra (real name unknown). She told me she had a son in Fort Collins and he did cowboy re-enactment. She was sure he could help me. On my return to Fort Collins I looked him up as soon as possible. He in turn introduced me to a man who had done some cowboy shooting down in Raton N.M. His name was Frank Kratky and is now one of our top senior shooters and a good friend. Frank and I attended a N.C.R.G.C. meeting where I showed them my video and sold them on putting on a cowboy match at their range.
Our first match was held on Aug. 14, 1993 with 8 shooters, Frank Kratky (Ridge Rider), Bob Reed (Breed), Chris Schneider (Badger), Roger Alms (Talks to Stones), the late Darel Storm (Curly Bigalow), John Roberts, Pat Garrett (that's his real name) and myself. I had mentioned to these shooters that if we were going to put on a regular monthly match, we needed to come up with a name. It was Chris Schneider who came up with the name of Pawnee Station. We shot with 8 or 9 shooters and only 2 stages for a while. Then in Jan. of '94 a few more people started showing up, among them were Snake and Quapow Jack. In March of '94 with 18 shooters we shot 4 stages and were drawing people from towns other than Fort Collins. At the April '94 shoot another new face showed up and became very active. At that time he went by the alias of Chief and is now known as Tall Chief (Bart Rust).
Also in the summer of '94 a man by the name of Terry Guriel (Wrangler) started shooting. Terry thought we needed a newsletter and on Oct. 15th published our first Pawnee Station Dispatch. Between June of '95 and Feb. of '96 a few more key shooters joined us; the late Chuck Lockhart (Emberato), Gordon Grove (Powder Keg) and Patty Storm (Little Filey) all from Fort Collins. And from Cheyenne, Wyoming, Evan Green (Coyote), Rick Ginter (Overland Kid) and Hank Van Goethen who were instrumental in starting The Cheyenne Regulators. Evan, Rick & Hank passed the word around in Wyoming about Cowboy Action Shooting and with the addition of the Wyoming cowboys we put on a Dec. '95 match with a record 31 shooters. By Feb. 1996 we were up to 44 shooters and have never looked back.
By this time the matches at were mostly run by Breed, Badger, Powder Keg, Chief, Snake and a few others. By the summer of 1996 Pawnee Station was drawing well over 50 shooters, among them was Gerry Mitchell (Rusty Spur) who later took on the job of editor for the Pawnee Station Dispatch. Rusty also became the first Territorial Governor and has put in many hours of his time to bring Pawnee Station up to where it is today. Also on May 18th & 19th of 1996 Pawnee Station put on their 1st Annual Match. That match drew over 80 shooters. The 2nd Annual Match in 1997 drew in about 90 cowboys and cowgirls.
Pawnee Station was becoming well known, shooters started showing up from other states and it wasn't long before we had to add a few more stages. We also realized that the rifle range where we had been shooting was too small to handle more then 80 people. In the summer of '97 we moved the stages from the rifle range to its present location. In 1999 the database that Rusty Spur had put together totaled 206 shooters who had shot at Pawnee Station at one time or another and it became difficult to keep track of all the new shooters. One of them Larry Bauer (Ol Cuss) along with Henrietta Ritchardson (Henni Penni) who joined us in 2000 took over all the registering at the matches. In 2002 Rusty Spur announced he wanted to retire from his position as Territorial Governor and it was Henni Penni who took the bull by the horns and became our 2nd Governor.
As in most stories concerning history, it be comes clear that you can't mention everybody involved. There are so many cowboys and cowgirls that have put in many hours of work and have helped to make this club grow. So at this time, I would like to apologize to any unsung hero's that I may have missed and would like to thank each and every one of you for making my dream come true.
Tony Palmeri Alias Sam E. Wadcutter